AndyO Blog

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Trump acquitted in Impeachment trial #2

Though the outcome was never really in question, on Feb 13 Trump was acquitted by the Senate, 57 to 43, with seven Republicans joining the Democrats in his second impeachment trial. Trump celebrated in Florida by calling the whole thing a “witch hunt.” 

The Republican party is now split over whether to follow the ex-president as their leader. The seven who voted to convict are taking the biggest political hits, with many being censured in their respective states. I still don’t understand how anyone could support a president who tried to overturn an election with false accusations, and who ultimately lit the fire for an insurrection.

But if you look back at the win/lose politics and culture of fear that have infected Washington DC, it starts to make more sense. Trump’s sycophants somehow think the ex-president is the key to continued political victory. But even this isn’t a good enough reason, because of the clear and present danger Trump represents to our democracy. 

Trump will see this as an excuse to continue his politics of lies, corruption, and profiteering, although as a private citizen, his activities before and during his presidency will be open to more scrutiny.  


posted by AndyO @ 10:10 PM   0 comments

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Biden and Harris inauguration

Today, Joe Biden and Kamela Harris were inaugurated. The Capitol was like a fortress with 25,000 National Guard patrolling miles of fences with barbed wire. The show of force worked, with no violent disruptions by militias, white supremacists, and Trump loyalists who ransacked the Capitol two weeks ago. 


It was strange hearing someone who’s presidential speaking from the podium—someone who could deliver a speech to all Americans. After I watched Biden’s inaugural address, there was a clip of Trump’s farewell speech, and the difference was shocking. We’ve all gotten used to Trump’s improvised stand up routines. I know that was part of the appeal to his followers—that he spoke with a common language. But we should expect more from our leaders.

Even though Biden is humble, he also has the overwhelming self-confidence of someone who’s been in public service for most of his life. He knows how the system is supposed to work. He had something like 17 Executive Orders on his desk today, which overturned many of Trump’s worst policies in a single day. 

And let’s not forget the remarkable history that Kamala Harris made as the first woman to ascend to the vice presidency. It’s long-overdue.

I realized recently why there appears to be so much more time to think: it has everything to do with Trump being kicked off social media—about using mental energy to devote to what crazy thing he said. It’s frightening to see how powerful social media can be in the hands of a president/entertainer. But the silence has been serene. I only hope Biden returns to more formal channels of communication, like press conferences, where he can have a dialogue—instead of sending out to one-way tweets that echo around the world.

I can only hope that the Biden presidency will bring the back the cold light of the truth to the American conversation. There’s no room for a blizzard of lies anymore. We saw what can happen when the lies are repeated over and over by the president. As I’ve written before, some people will always believe what the president says, because of the power and respect that office holds. 

But it’s clear that we can’t take the truth for granted—even for Biden. We’ve seen presidents lie before, but never on a Trumpian scale. Things like elections that were won by over 7 million votes shouldn’t be in dispute. The gaslighting that Trump and his pals engaged in bordered on the psychotic—especially when it came to COVID-19. Someday we’ll get a full accounting of how many lives we could have saved with the truth.

posted by AndyO @ 12:36 AM   0 comments

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Impeachment, part two

Another historic day for the country. Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats, and 10 Republicans in the House impeached President Trump. No president in the history of our country has been impeached twice. For someone as egotistical and narcissistic as Trump, it’s as bad as a Scarlet Letter that he must wear in all the history books.

 

What’s more, he delivered his most presidential speech (on prerecorded video) since he won the election in 2016. It was carefully scripted and rehearsed, almost Nixonian in its duplicity—designed to deceive a few Republicans in the Senate from convicting him.


If Trump had recorded this video a week ago, he would be in much better shape, politically. Regardless, the man is a professional liar, who will say anything to stop the losses and ignominy—as businesses and cities cancel contracts with him. 

What I find most interesting and terrifying about Trump is the level of self-destruction that he has wrought upon himself and the country. He’s like a character in a movie who always falls back on their vice, ruins the wedding with a drunken speech, or loses his fortune because of bad karma.

It’s terrifying because this is a man who could, theoretically, start a nuclear war. But as it turns out, there’s a movie character for that scenario as well—Martin Sheen’s psychotic Greg Stillson in The Dead Zone. But unlike Trump, Stillson’s failure of character stops him before he can become president. In Trump’s case, we saw something similar with the Access Hollywood tape—an event that would have derailed any other candidate. 

I don’t think Trump will resign. But in some weird way, if he did it would actually improve his standing—because it would show he’s putting the country above himself for the first time. 
posted by AndyO @ 10:41 PM   0 comments

American Carnage: One week later

It was a week ago that the nation saw one the worst attacks on our democracy. Here’s what’s happened since:


 

  • In a show of defiance to the thousands of domestic terrorists, on Jan 7 the joint session of Congress certified Biden and Harris’s electoral results.
  • Almost 100 protesters have been arrested, with many more to come. There are over 100,000 tips that have been sent to the FBI. It’s clear that many of the protesters didn’t think they’d face any consequences for their actions (or didn't care).
  • Five people have died, including two Capitol Police Officers.
  • Many have resigned from Trump’s administration, including two cabinet members.
  • Trump has finally conceded defeat in a scripted video message; he’s confirmed he will not attend Biden’s inauguration.
  • Twitter and Facebook have banned Trump.
  • The PGA has cut ties with Trump for an upcoming Masters tournament.
  • Today, Congress passed a resolution requesting VP Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump.
  • Nancy Pelosi will bring an article of impeachment to the House on Wednesday. At least three Republicans have said they will vote in favor of impeaching the president.
  • Trump still thinks he’s done nothing wrong.
  • The pandemic has gotten significantly worse since the holidays, and America is closing in on 400,000 deaths.
posted by AndyO @ 12:06 AM   0 comments

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Insurrection at the Capitol

Today we saw something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime: Trump’s protestors, who were in WA DC for the electoral certification, decided to storm the Capitol. Thousands of people overwhelmed the Capitol police and broke into the building. Senators and congressional reps were evacuated. Protesters were shot, and at least four were killed. American carnage. 


It was a sad day in America, and much of the blame lies with Trump. He’s continued to foment conspiracy theories about a "rigged election," and has blatantly invited his followers to help him overturn the election. Of course, a measure of blame also goes to the Republicans who never fully checked him throughout his four years of chaos.
 

Embed from Getty Images
 
In a display of unity and courage, Congress reconvened at 8:00 pm Eastern, taking a vote on the objection of Arizona’s votes by 11:30 pm. Many senators gave impassioned speeches—even the ones you wouldn’t have expected to—and the objection was voted down. 

They started certifying again, with more congressional challenges for Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada, but they didn’t have senators support anymore. Everything went along until Pennsylvania, which did have senator support. 

As far as I know, they’re once again debating in the house and senate.
posted by AndyO @ 11:24 PM   0 comments